| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 508, 20 May 2013
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Debian GNU/Linux, the world's largest Linux distribution and the ultimate cooperative software project that extends across many countries on all continents, has recently released a new stable version. Continuing its time-tested tradition of stability and reliability over cutting-edge features, "Wheezy" represents a new milestone in the evolution of open-source software and it is the subject of this week's first-impression review by Jesse Smith; please read below about his findings. In the news section, Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval revisit the humble beginnings of their respective Linux distributions, Fedora developers manufacture a somewhat humorous controversy over password inputs during system installation, Ubuntu unveils some of the possible new features in "Saucy Salamander", and FreeBSD restores its binary package build service that was suspended six months ago following a security incident. Also in this issue, an entertaining Tips and Tricks session on interacting with graphical applications via command-line scripts, an introduction to Italy's PoliArch distribution, and the usual regular sections with release news, screenshots and everything else you expect to find here every Monday. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (27MB) and MP3 (50MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Review of Debian GNU/Linux 7.0
Debian GNU/Linux is one of the oldest surviving Linux distributions and will be celebrating its 20th anniversary later this year. The venerable project is home to hundreds of volunteers who maintain over 35,000 software packages. Debian has expanded over the years and currently supports nine hardware architectures, displaying an unusual level of flexibility for a Linux distribution. Debian isn't just a long lived Linux distro, the project also maintains ports which allow developers and users to experiment with running GNU software on top of alternative kernels, including Hurd and the FreeBSD kernel. This amazing diversity, along with Debian's reputation for stability, has caused many developers to base their own projects on Debian.
Dozens of the world's most popular and widely used open-source projects (including Ubuntu, Linux Mint and KNOPPIX) can trace their ancestry back to Debian. Apart from being one of the largest existing open-source projects Debian is also a social experiment. The project is run as a democracy, a rarity in the open-source world, where developers vote on important changes and are guided by a constitution. For the reasons given above, more so than the anticipated features, the release of a new version of Debian sends ripples through the open-source community. Debian may be a famously conservative project, but everything its developers do affect large portions of the open-source population. I was quite eager to see what Debian 7.0, code name Wheezy, would offer.
Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 comes with a relatively short list of new features in keeping with the distribution's conservative reputation. Wheezy now supports true multi-architecture support. While most distributions support mixing 32-bit and 64-bit software, Debian takes the concept a step further and provides a clean approach to supporting both running and cross-compiling software on non-native operating systems. Debian has adopted GNOME 3 as its default desktop environment and experimental support has been added for the new systemd init process. This release of Debian also adds additional security by taking advantage of the GNU compiler's security hardening features. Packages in the repositories have been built using the compiler's security features which should make it harder to exploit applications running on Debian.
Debian attempts to be "the universal operating system" with a focus on both flexibility and diversity. This is perhaps no more apparent than when we are trying to decide which ISO image to download. As previously mentioned, Debian supports nine architectures and, for some of these architectures, there are 15 possible ISO images. These include three DVD images, eight CD images, three alternative desktop spins (KDE, LXDE and Xfce) and a net-install disc. In the coming weeks there will probably be a live CD released to accompany these install discs, though at the time of my trial the live CD was not yet available. People unfamiliar with Debian may be a bit confused as to which disc (or discs) to download. Reading through the release notes and installation guide reveals that, in most cases, users will be able to get by just downloading one disc. Many people who plan to perform just a single installation over a high-speed connection will probably choose the small net-install disc. People planning to perform multiple installs or people who have slower connections can get by downloading just the first disc of the CD or DVD series. For my own experiment with Debian 7.0 I opted to download the first disc of the 32-bit x86 DVD series.
Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 - various desktop applications
(full image size: 108kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Installation and first impressions
Our buffet of options does not diminish when we boot from the Debian DVD. We have the option of running a graphical installer or a text-based installer. There is also a new installation option in Debian which supports speech synthesis. What this new option does is run the Debian text-based installer with a screen reader so people who are visually impaired can navigate the installation process. I tried this and while the words which come out of the text-to-speech process can be a little difficult to understand in places it works fairly well. I'm happy to see this accessibility option available. The Debian installation media comes with several more boot options, including a rescue mode, an automated installer, an expert install option (text-based) and an expert install option (with a graphical interface). To top it all off each of the alternative desktops gets its own collection of installers.
What this means is if we want to install Debian with the KDE desktop this isn't an opinion within the installer. Instead when we boot off the DVD we select alternative desktops from the boot menu, select KDE and then select whether we want a text-based or graphical installer. While I appreciate the flexibility presented by Debian I am curious why the developers took this approach. Most of the big name distributions get the user to select which desktop environment(s) they want from the software selection screen toward the end of the install process. Debian takes an either/or approach to giving users a desktop environment and it makes for an unusually complex boot menu.
Going through the standard installation process (as opposed to the automated or expert options) walks us through a familiar series of steps. We're asked to select which county or region we are in and we are asked to select our keyboard layout from a list. We set a hostname for our computer, input the domain name for our machine (if one is applicable) and then set the root user's password. Next up we are asked to create a regular user account and then select our time zone from a list. The partitioning process with Debian feels a little roundabout in my opinion. The installer gives us a great deal of features from which to choose and this may be the reason for the many steps involved in navigating the partitioning screens. We can set up Btrfs or LVM volumes and the ext2/3/4, XFS and JFS file systems are supported along with RAID configurations.
Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 - the graphical installer
(full image size: 33kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
Once partitioning is finished the installer copies files to the hard drive and then asks if there are additional discs containing packages we would like to use. We are then asked if we would like to install newer packages from the repositories or just use the local discs. The next screen asks if we would like to take part in submitting package statistics to Debian. Then we are asked which categories of software we would like to have installed on the computer. These categories include Desktop software, a print server, web server, database packages, secure shell and a mail server. The installer copies the selected software groups to our hard drive and then offers to install the GRUB2 boot loader. While Debian's installer is flexible and worked without any problems during my installations I was surprised at how slow it was. For each of my installs I opted to install the base system and GNOME desktop software only. This process took over an hour where, by comparison, my recent installs of Fedora and Ubuntu took under half an hour.
Debian booted to a graphical login screen and signing in brought me to the GNOME 3 desktop. Depending on our machine's graphical capabilities we may be shown the GNOME Shell or, if our video card doesn't support a 3-D environment, we will be shown the GNOME fallback mode. Since Debian has been released I've read a few comments from other reviewers complaining about Debian using older versions of software such as GNOME 3.4 as opposed to newer versions like GNOME 3.8. Personally I welcomed the older version of GNOME as newer versions no longer support fallback mode and I find the fallback desktop preferable to the GNOME Shell interface. The desktop environment is fairly low key. The background is grey with the Debian logo prominently featured. No pop-ups, update notifications or welcome screens appeared. Debian appears content to stay out of the way and let us sink or swim on our own.
One of the first tasks I attempted following getting logged in was to check for updated packages in the Debian software repositories. Upon opening the graphical update utility I was immediately told the system was up to date and the application closed. The application had reported back fast enough it was apparent no check of the remote repositories had occurred. I next switched to the graphical utility for managing software sources and found my installation DVD was still listed as a package repository and this appeared to be short-circuiting the update process. I attempted to remove the Debian DVD as a source and found the utility would not permit the removal of the DVD as a package source. Whenever the checkbox was cleared it would be automatically re-enabled. At this point I dropped to a command line and manually edited the APT package sources file and set it to use the remote repositories exclusively. From then on I was able to check for updates and install new packages without any problems.
Software and package management
Debian comes with a fairly standard collection of software in the default install. Looking through the application menu we find Iceweasel (Debian's re-branded version of Firefox), the Evolution e-mail and calendar program, the Empathy chat client and LibreOffice. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is installed for us along with Inkscape and Shotwell. A document and PDF viewer is available as is the Orca screen reader. Debian comes with a handful of multimedia programs including the Totem video player, Rhythmbox for playing audio files and the Cheese webcam utility. Debian comes with popular media codecs out of the box allowing us to play mp3 files and most video formats. The distribution does not ship the closed source Flash player, but the developers have included the Gnash free software implementation of Flash. This allows us to access most Flash content such as YouTube videos, though I did find the plug-in failed to handle the content of some sites.
Debian also comes with the Brasero disc burner, an audio CD ripper and a small collection of games. The application menu includes an archive manager, a calculator and text editor. The graphical interface can be managed through the GNOME System Settings panel and gives us a degree of flexibility. Digging deeper we find the GNU Compiler Collection is installed and we have Java support out of the box. To help us get on-line Network Manager is provided in the default install. Under it all sits the Linux kernel, version 3.2. Of course Debian has a vast collection of additional software in the repositories and over 35,000 packages are available covering just about any requirement we may have. Which brings us to package management...
Debian comes with two graphical package managers which act as front ends to the underlying APT package handling system. The first graphical front end is Synaptic, a tried and true software manager with a focus on working with individual packages. Synaptic is fast and able to handle complex batches of actions. The second package manager is labeled "Add/Remove Software" and takes a more simplistic approach to managing software. Though this second tool puts a slightly more friendly face on software handling and provides a more application-focused view I found it was also notably slower than Synaptic, especially when performing searches. I found both front ends worked well and, when I had occasion to switch to the APT command line utilities, they also worked quickly and without any problems.
Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 - managing packages and desktop settings
(full image size: 178kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I ran Debian on a desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and found the distribution performed very well. Debian is amazingly fast to boot and it may be the only distribution I've used which delivers a GNOME 3 experience I would call "snappy". Sound worked out of the box and my screen was automatically set to its maximum resolution. Debian is a lightweight distribution and when logged into GNOME's fallback mode the system only used 120 MB of memory.
The reason this Debian review is coming out two weeks after the initial release is due to my desire to give the distribution a fair shake. I'm a big fan of the Debian project and, as I mentioned earlier, I believe it is hard to overstate the project's importance in the open-source community. That being said, the first impression, perhaps the first several impressions, I had of Debian 7.0 were less than stellar. I felt the documentation was a bit scattered and I found myself digging through the release notes, installation guide, release announcement and wiki looking for details on Wheezy. While I generally found what I was looking for there were times when I'd come across something vague or out of date (originally written for Squeeze) and it left a bad taste in my mouth. The oddly complex and slow installer followed by the short-circuited package manager didn't exactly improve my mood. Long story short, I wanted to have at least a week of playing with Debian post-install to really get a feel for the distribution.
With very few qualifiers I have to say Wheezy grew on me as time went on. Debian is surprisingly light for a modern distribution and it is blindingly fast, both when it is booting and when logged in. The system is quite clean, responsive and comes with a decent collection of software. The Stable branch of Debian lived up to its name and I did not encounter any lock-ups, application crashes or other frustrations after my first day with Wheezy. The distribution stays out of the way, performs quickly and comes with a huge amount of software through the repositories.
Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 - web browsing and playing multimedia files
(full image size: 204kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
All of this being said, at the end of the week I was left with the impression that while Debian is highly flexible (very much the "universal operating system" it strives to be) and it is stable (quite appealing for home or small business servers), it does not make for the most appealing desktop operating system. Debian makes for a great base for desktop distributions as evidenced by my recent experience with Linux Mint Debian Edition. Linux Mint provides a nice update manager, driver assistant, modern package manager, an attractive theme and friendly installer while maintaining Debian's excellent performance and stability. Debian, perhaps in an effort to be universal, skips on these niceties and expects the user to be more involved with the underlying operating system.
One concern I had while using Debian 7.0 was with regards to the age of packages, or at least one specific package. I certainly didn't mind using an older kernel or running LibreOffice 3.5 instead of 4.0. In all likelihood most users aren't going to notice any difference and, as I mentioned above, running GNOME 3.4 might be an improvement over the 3.8 release, so sometimes using older software can be a good thing. However, I was concerned with running Iceweasel 10. Iceweasel 10 is now old even by upstream's extended support schedule. I haven't looked deeply enough into Iceweasel's change log to know how up to date the software is with security fixes, but it does concern me that a piece of software which advances so quickly and is exposed directly to the Internet is showing signs of age.
At the end of the week I felt as though Debian Wheezy was very much like the previous release, Squeeze, and it held the same drawbacks and the same strengths. The distribution is fast, flexible, has a huge software repository and is rock solid. These same traits mean that it also requires a higher degree of user experience and more user interaction than many other distributions. Debian sacrifices streamlining and ease of use in favour of being universal. The distribution is a bit like a dish of vanilla ice cream, unexciting, plain, predictable and, for its fans, pleasantly familiar. People wanting something more exciting, something more newcomer friendly, will have to add their own toppings and customizations.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, Fedora and visible passwords, Ubuntu 13.10 features, FreeBSD binary package building
Among the hundreds of community Linux distributions available today only a few can rise to the top of the ranks. The spectacular success of Linux Mint over the last few years serves as a great example of how a developer with great ideas, vision and determination can achieve what many large and well-paid teams would have struggled to. Recently TechRadar has published an interview with Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre (a reprint from a recent issue of the Linux Format magazine). How did the project come to existence? "The surprising thing is that Mint was originally just a sideshow to some reviews its creator had written online. Clem Lefebvre explains: 'I was writing for LinuxForums.org at the time, and eventually decided to try and host my own website, so I created LinuxMint.com. Version 1.0 (of the distribution) was a quick experiment to see how some of the ideas I wrote about in my reviews could be implemented. I was surprised to see people were more interested in it than in my articles.' After a while, Clem started to get a flavour for what the people wanted, and he started to get the idea of how he would construct, and create, a distribution himself. Clem then went on to post more articles and tutorials. He saw the innovations of the time, and improved on them, adding his own ideas."
* * * * *
Speaking about visionaries and desktop Linux, a comparison between Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval (the founder of Mandrake Linux) comes to mind. Like Clement, Gaël also had excellent ideas of how to improve the most popular Linux distribution in his time (Red Hat Linux back in 1997) and customise it to the tastes and habits of conventional desktop users. Mandrake Linux (which later became Mandriva Linux) was such a success that it dominated the DistroWatch charts and many online polls for several years. The newly-formed OpenMandriva Association has recently caught up with Gaël Duval to talk about Mandrake's humble beginnings: "Mandrake Linux started as a personal project in 1997. I was an enthusiastic user of Linux on i386, and an early user of KDE in its alpha stages. I had an idea to release a new desktop Linux distribution that would focus on ease of use, be attractive and potentially compete with Windows as an alternative. Then I started to work on first implementations of such a Linux distro, starting on Slackware, then evaluating Debian and Red Hat because they had software package management. Finally I decided to go with Red Hat because it had a very active community and the core distro was good and simple."
On a related note, the OpenMandriva Association has accepted "OpenMandriva" as the new name for the project's inaugural distribution release. The first alpha build, created by Bernhard Rosenkränzer (whom some readers will remember as a former Red Hat employee and a founder of Ark Linux) is already available for download and testing.
* * * * *
With the beta release of Fedora 19 just around the corner, some Fedora users who peruse the developers' mailing lists were recently taken aback by a controversy over unmasked passwords which one inputs during the installation. This was a new behaviour and, as it turned out, it was a "feature", not a bug. LWN's Jonathan Corbet reports about the issue in "Fedora's invisible passwords and visible squabbles": "The relative quiet recently experienced on the Fedora development mailing list felt a bit like the calm before the storm. And, indeed, the storm duly arrived in the form of a heated discussion over the proper behavior of the password forms in the Anaconda installer. When the dust had settled, the status quo ante prevailed. But some interesting governance questions were raised in between. After the Fedora 19 alpha release, the installer developers decided to stop masking the passwords supplied by the user during the installation process. Passwords only remained visible for as long as the keyboard focus remained on the relevant input box; as soon as the focus moved on, the password would be masked. But that still left the password visible for an arbitrary period of time to anybody who chose to look. Some users, suffice to say, were not amused. A bug report was filed -- and promptly closed: 'This is working exactly as it is intended.'"
* * * * *
While some popular distributions have only just published a new release or are in the process of closing release-critical bugs, the hackers behind Ubuntu are already hard at work on "Saucy Salamander", the code name of the project's next stable release. What can we expect in version 13.10? Web Upd8 provides some answers in "Possible Changes in Ubuntu 13.10": "In Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, Unity 7 should get the 100 scopes and smart scopes feature that was supposed to land in Ubuntu 13.04, but was postponed, along with an in-dash payment system. Further more, Compiz will probably be updated to version 0.9.10 (trunk) with the performance improvement branches merged, so users should see an even faster Unity in the upcoming Ubuntu release. Unity 8 which will be running on top of Mir might be available as an alternative session on the desktop in Ubuntu 13.10, for testing purposes. If this will happen, Unity 8 will be able to run in parallel with Unity 7 (the main shell used by default in Ubuntu 13.10). The expected minimal capabilities include accessing local content, working networking, using some phone core apps on the desktop and a good experience navigating the shell with a non-touch device such as a touchpad or mouse."
* * * * *
Finally, good news for those who have been patiently waiting for the restoration of the FreeBSD binary package build service which was suspended after a security breach some six months ago. FreeBSD Core Team Secretary announced the fact on the freebsd-announce mailing list: "Dear FreeBSD community, six months have passed since the November security incident which brought the project's binary package building capacity offline; we are pleased to announce that all services are now restored. This has followed a significant effort to review security throughout the FreeBSD project's infrastructure, and re-engineer the package-building system to support greater compartmentalization and resilience. This includes the redports.org and ports QAT, generation and update of INDEX files, publication of binary package sets, and binary-package building itself. The revised infrastructure provided binary packages for the recent release of FreeBSD 8.4. We are now glad to announce that binary packages available again for 8.x, 9.x branches on i386 and amd64 architectures at the usual locations."
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Scripting and graphical environments
In the open-source community we have a lot of options and a lot of powerful tools at our fingertips. This makes for a good deal of (usually) friendly debate as to which utilities best suit various jobs. Are you in the KDE camp or a GNOME fan, do you prefer vi or Emacs, do you prefer to work from the command line or a graphical desktop? In the ongoing debate between command line tools and graphical user interfaces there is one point which keeps coming up in favour of the command line: scripting. It's quite easy to create scripts to perform just about any command line action we could possibly want. Graphical user interfaces, while discoverable and attractive, will trap you with their repetitive tasks without hope of passing the chore over to a script. At least that's how the argument usually goes.
Of course some applications have had a record and playback option for years. This allows us to open a program, set it to record and then perform a series of actions. We can then save this series of actions to be run later. It's not a tool which is used very often, but it can be useful for performing repetitive tasks, for example setting up a document with certain fields. Still, this limits us to scripting actions within one application and doesn't give us the flexibility of scripting the entire graphical environment, just a small subset of programs. Luckily, for Linux and BSD users, there is a utility called xdotool.
The xdotool application allows us to create scripts which can interact with our desktop environment. With xdotool we can move the mouse, trigger button presses, use keyboard short-cuts and manipulate windows. The xdotool command gives us the ability to manipulate our graphical desktop and applications using a series of commands which can be saved in a script. Let's look at a few examples.
This first example searches our desktop looking for the Thunderbird e-mail client. If the program is currently open we cause Thunderbird to become the active window. This mini script has two pieces, the first part (placed inside backtick marks) tries to find the last window opened which contains the name "Thunderbird" in the title. Assuming the proper window is found we active the window, bringing it to the foreground:
xdotool windowactivate $(xdotool search -name Thunderbird | tail -n 1)
How is this helpful? Well, on its own, just activating a window isn't all that useful, but it can lead to more interesting actions. In this next example our script launches the Firefox web browser and opens a tab to the DistroWatch website:
Scripts can get more complex and possibly even useful too. This following script automates sending an e-mail message using the Thunderbird e-mail client. Let's break it down into bite-sized pieces. First we locate the Thunderbird e-mail client and bring the application's window to the foreground. Then we send the program the CTRL+N key combination to signal we want to begin a new e-mail:
xdotool windowactivate $(xdotool search -name Firefox | tail -n 1)
xdotool type distrowatch.com
xdotool key Return
xdotool windowactivate $(xdotool search -name Thunderbird | tail -n 1)
Opening a new e-mail window can take a second or two so we pause for two seconds and then make sure the new e-mail window has focus. New e-mail windows always have "Write" in the window's title:
xdotool key "ctrl+n"
We then need to fill in the To address and subject line of the e-mail. This is done using a combination of the xdotool's "type" command for inputting text and the "key" command, which allows us to specify the pressing a specific key or key combination:
xdotool windowactivate $(xdotool search -name Write | tail -n 1)
xdotool type firstname.lastname@example.org
At this point we have filled in the To field and the subject line and we can instruct xdotool to type out a message. In this case I'll keep it short. We then order Thunderbird to send the e-mail by sending Thunderbird the CTRL+Return shortcut key combination:
xdotool key "Tab"
xdotool type "System is running"
xdotool key "Tab"
xdotool type "The system is on-line"
There is one step left. When a new message is created very quickly Thunderbird will pop-up a window asking if we are sure the e-mail is ready to send. We wait for this pop-up box and then simulate pressing the Enter key to confirm we really do wish to send this message:
xdotool key "ctrl+Return"
Obviously this sort of tool has the ability to be used for good or evil. While it can let us know our system is running and we could opt to send all sorts of useful system statistics, it could also be used to spam (accidentally or otherwise) someone's e-mail account. The xdotool can also be used to do silly things, such as play (badly) at Tetris or other games. Every few seconds a key can be sent to the currently active window. It may be entertaining to see how well an automated player can do at some games with random input.
xdotool key Return
While bookmarks, mailing lists and document templates have largely reduced the need for an automated graphical interface scripting tool, it is nice to have options. Using xdotool we have a great deal of power over our desktop environment. It gives us the chance to automate actions, not only to cut down on repetitive tasks, but xdotool can also be used to navigate complex graphical menus we may not wish to handle manually every time.
|Released Last Week
Antergos is a new name for Cinnarch, a project that used to combine the Cinnamon desktop and Arch Linux into a complete desktop Linux distribution. As Cinnamon tends to be behind the times and not always compatible with the latest version of GNOME, the project's developers have taken a decision to switch to GNOME 3 as their default desktop and rename the project to Antergos. The first stable release of Antergos was announced today: "After a month since our last release under the name 'Cinnarch', we're glad to announce the new name of our project and our first release being out of beta. We're stable enough to make this step. We've chosen 'Antergos', a Galician word to link the past with the present. Moving forward, all our services are now working with the new name." See the release announcement for instructions on how to switch from Cinnarch to Antergos.
Antergos 2013.05.12 - combining the Arch Linux base with the GNOME 3 desktop
(full image size: 208kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
OS4 4.1 "Enterprise"
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of OS4 4.1 "Enterprise" edition, an Ubuntu-based commercial distribution for small and medium-size enterprises: "Today we are pleased to announce the release of OS4 Enterprise 4.1. With this release we bring many advancements to the world's premier enterprise Linux platform. We learned a lot from our release of Enterprise 4.0 and this release is based on customer feedback. Starting with the user interface. Many of our Enterprise customers coming from Red Hat and Oracle Linux wanted a consistent user interface that they had become accustomed to with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle Linux and we believe we have achieved that and with some of the flare that OS4 is famous for. Some of these features include: Linux kernel 3.2; Jakarta Tomcat, ZFS 0.6.2 for Linux, support for Microsoft Hyper-V, Webmin...." Read the release announcement for more information.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.5.2 "KDE", "Cinnamon", "MATE"
Yusuf Faruk Doğan has announced the release of three community editions of the Arch-based Manjaro Linux 0.8.5.2 - with KDE, Cinnamon and MATE desktops: "We are happy to announce three new Manjaro Community Editions featuring Mate 1.6, Cinnamon 1.7, Gnome 3.8 and KDE 4.10.2. “Community Editions” of Manjaro Linux are released as bonus flavours in addition to those officially supported and maintained by the Manjaro Team, provided that the time and resources necessary are available to do so. We hope you like these releases." The release announcement includes a detailed list of changes and new features for each of the three editions, as well as screenshots and notes on the graphical system installer and the distribution's unique package management utility.
Sophos UTM 9.1
Angelo Comazzetto has announced the release of Sophos UTM 9.1, a Linux-based operating system for firewalls formerly known as Astaro Security Gateway: "I am pleased to inform you that today, after months of research, development (and public testing), we have released Sophos UTM 9.1. This major update to our UTM line introduces dozens of new features, offers vastly increased performance in throughput and reporting which makes UTM an even more formidable solution. You will find an amazing new system for enforcing your web security settings on clients anywhere they are in the world using our UTM endpoint offering, wireless repeating and bridging using a mesh network option for our wireless AP50, and SSL VPN for iOS and Android mobiles." Read the full release announcement for a long list of new features and bug fixes.
Zorin OS 6.3 "Core"
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 6.3 "Core" edition, an easy-to-use desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu's latest LTS (long-term support) release and enhanced with a custom start menu and other user-friendly utilities: "The Zorin OS team is pleased to announce the release of Zorin OS 6.3 Core, our operating system designed for Windows users. Zorin OS 6.3 builds on top of our popular previous release of Zorin OS 6.2 with newly updated software and a newer kernel out of the box. As Zorin OS 6.3 is based on Ubuntu 12.04, it is an LTS (long-term support) release, provided with software updates until April 2017. Users who already have Zorin OS 6, 6.1 or 6.2 Core installed can update their system using the Update Manager to avail of the aforementioned updates and improvements in 6.3." Here is the brief release announcement.
Alpine Linux 2.6.0
Natanael Copa has announced the release of Alpine Linux 2.6.0, a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution for servers, based on uClibc and BusyBox: "We are pleased to announce Alpine Linux 2.6.0. Since 2.5, among the various bug fixes, several packages have been upgraded: Linux kernel upgraded to 3.9.2 with the grsecurity patch; Ruby 2.0; PHP 5.4.5; Kamailio 4.0; QEMU 1.4; Squid 3.3. Other things that might be worth noting: LXC support; support for NFS with Kerberos; the initramfs script has initial support for PXE; VServer kernel got reverted to the 3.4.y LTS and slimmed down configuration; Quagga got multi-path support. Known issue: DMVPN does not work. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this release." Here is the brief release announcement with a link to a complete changelog.
Slackel 3.1 "Live Openbox"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 3.1 "Live Openbox" edition, a lightweight Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux and Salix: "Slackel Live 3.1 Openbox has been released. Includes the live kernel 3.8.8 and lots of updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. Slackel Live 3.1 Openbox includes the Midori 0.4.9 web browser, Claws-Mail 3.8.1, Transmission, SpaceFM, OpenJRE 7u9, Rhino, IcedTea-Web, Pidgin, gFTP, wicd. AbiWord, Gnumeric and ePDFviewer office applications are included. Whaaw! Media Player is the default movie player, Exaile 3.3.0 is the application to use for managing your music collection, Asunder CD ripper, Bracero for writing CD/DVDs and more. In the graphics section Viewnior 1.3, GIMP 2.8.4 and Scrot the snapshot utility. It is very easy to put Slackel Live 3.1 Openbox in a USB thumb drive." Read the full release announcement for further details.
NetBSD 6.1, 6.0.2
Jeff Rizzo has announced the release of NetBSD 6.1, a new stable version of the highly portable UNIX-like operating system available for a wide range of platforms: "The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.1, the first feature update of the NetBSD 6 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements. Major changes between 6.0 and 6.1: posix_spawn() - fix processes with attributes; resolve races between vget() and vrele() resulting in vget() returning dead vnodes; prevent crash when unsupported fd's are used with kevent; fix a bug where kmem_alloc() could be called from interrupt context; WAPBL - coalesce writes to the journal to speed up wapbl_flush() on raid5 by a factor of 3 to 4...." Read the rest of the release notes for a detailed list of changes and related links.
Tails 0.18, a new version of the specialist live CD whose goal is to preserve the user's privacy and anonymity while surfing the world wide web, has been released: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.18, is out. All users must upgrade as soon as possible. Notable user-visible changes include: Support obfs3 bridges; automatically install a custom list of additional packages chosen by the user at the beginning of every working session, and upgrade them once a network connection is established; upgrade to Iceweasel 17.0.5esr; update Torbrowser patches to current maint-2.4 branch; Torbutton 1.5.2, and various prefs hacks to fix breakage; HTTPS Everywhere 3.2; NoScript 18.104.22.168; isolate DOM storage to first party URI and enable DOM storage; isolate the image cache per url bar domain; update preferences to match the TBBs, fix bugs, and take advantage of the latest Torbrowser patches...." See the release announcement for a complete changelog and a known issue.
Trish Fraser has announced the release of Mageia 3, the third official release of the community distribution that was created by former developers and contributors of the once highly popular Mandriva Linux in late 2010: "All grown up and ready to go dancing - Mageia 3 is out. We still can't believe how much fun it is to make Mageia together, and we've been doing it for two and a half years. Major new features: updates to RPM (4.11) and urpmi, which has been given a good turnout and cleanup; Linux kernel 3.8; systemd 195; GRUB is the default boot loader; GRUB 2 is available; revamped package groupings for installation and rpmdrake; KDE 4.10.2, GNOME 3.6, Xfce 4.10; LibreOffice 4.0.3; Steam for Linux...." Read the release announcement and check out the detailed release notes for further information.
Mageia 3 - the default KDE desktop
(full image size: 1,652kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Hybryde Linux 13.04
Olivier Larrieu has announced the release of Hybryde Linux 13.04, a rather unusual distribution which ships with 11 desktop user interfaces (Enlightenment, GNOME 2, GNOME 3, KDE, LXDE, Openbox, Unity, FVWM, Xfce, MATE and Cinnamon) and which provides a way to seamlessly switch between them without a need to restart the X window system. This it does so via a default home-made desktop called HY-D-V1: "After more than five months, we have a new concept: HY-D-V1 which is a new paradigm for the desktop. It works with web technologies. This new version, Hybryde 'Fusion', includes HY-D-V1 which has been created for artists and users who want to transform their desktop into an artistic tool and for those who want to play with graphic effects. That's because Linux users are not merely professionals and because computers are not reserved to business use alone." Visit the project's home page to learn more about the ideas behind the Ubuntu-based Hybryde Linux.
Hybryde Linux 13.04 - an Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD with 11 desktops
(full image size: 1,798kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Wifislax 4.4, a new version of the Slackware-based live CD with a good collection of useful security and forensic tools, has been released. This release represents five months of development work, not only on the live CD, but also on additional modules for various specialist purposes that can be downloaded and installed separately. The distribution comes with Linux kernel 3.7.10 (both "normal" and PAE variants), default KDE desktop version 4.10.3, and Xfce desktop as a lightweight alternative. Many programs and libraries have been updated to newer versions and a number of new tools have been added for the first time. Another useful new feature is the addition of an English boot menu, inclusive of second-level menus containing additional boot options. And last but not least, the default desktop wallpaper has also been updated. Please read the complete release announcement (in Spanish) for further information.
Wifislax 4.4 - a Slackware-based live CD with security and forensic tools
(full image size: 1,662kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- FreePBX. FreePBX is a CentOS-based Linux distribution with an easy-to-use graphical user interface that controls and manages Asterisk, the world's most popular open-source telephony engine software. FreePBX has been developed and hardened by thousands of volunteers over tens of thousands man hours.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 27 May 2013. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
1 • Debian 7 (by dude on 2013-05-20 09:55:40 GMT from United States) |
I'd really like to try Debian 7, but it won't install on any of my computers. It gets error messages because it isn't compatible with my network adapter or it hangs because it isn't compatible with my CPU.
2 • debian 7 (by greg on 2013-05-20 10:23:23 GMT from Slovenia)
Seems they need to simplify things or at least have simple and avdanced option to get wider adoption.
I am curious how difficult it would be to add a few backports to get newer version of browsers. as it was written having a bit older office is not an issue. i have it on Kubutnu LTS. However twice this year and once previous updates messed up my system. this never happeend before on Kubuntu. so i am seriously thinking if i should move to Debian KDE. thoguh i would need browsers up to date and also a few other progammes.
hmmm maybe i should go Mint Debian and change repositories to stable.
3 • Debian 7 (by Milan on 2013-05-20 10:48:01 GMT from Serbia)
For iceweasel versions: aurora, beta, release, esr, etc:
Libreoffice 4 is in backports
For problematic installs (hardware needs firmwares during install, etc.) there are unofficial images
4 • Debian 7 (by gefshep on 2013-05-20 10:50:06 GMT from Australia)
I find it curious the problems people have with the Debian system:
The Debian installer is the most reliable I have found for installing to hardware
mozilla.debian.org has the latest iceweasel (firefox) .. I'm running iceweasel 21 on my Wheezy right now.
LibreOffice (from what I can remember) had debian packages I've installed before.
However, each to his own.
5 • Debian 7 (by rop75 on 2013-05-20 11:06:52 GMT from Spain)
I was looking forward to reading your review and I must say I agree with most of your statements.
Having said that, Debian stable is not for people who want the latest versions of the software. If you want the latest firefox you have several options (ie enable the Debian Mozilla repo, enable backports -in a few weeks you will have more recent versions of your favourite software in the backports- move to Testing or sid). Debian stable is for people who want a stable and secure OS, and there is not doubt that Debian is really stable and secure.
I agree that one of the biggest problems, is the default software source (DVD), I do think they sould change that in Debian 8 as many newbies don't know how to edit sources.list
Finally your remark about LMDE is not right. First because LMDE is based on Testing (and so it will be based on Debian Jessie as soon as the next UP is released). And second because Debian stable gets security updates every other day,and LMDE gets security (or other kind of updates) every three months.
6 • mageia 3 (by phobos on 2013-05-20 12:08:52 GMT from Slovakia)
I hope with the 3rd release the Mageia project will start it's jurney to the top where it belongs. Cheers.
7 • Debian (by Jon Wright on 2013-05-20 12:21:31 GMT from Vietnam)
Nice review - it seems like anybody that wants to give Wheezy a more recent Kernel and theme it a bit is onto a winner.
By the way the live editions appeared for download a couple of days ago.
8 • Debian 7 and iceweasel (by david on 2013-05-20 12:34:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Why not replace iceweasel with iceape. I did as I found that the plugins for firefox would not install in iceweasel. Work fine in iceape and can be installed via apt.
I'm sure that libreoffice can be updated by getting a more recent debian version from the libreoffice site.
I'm running it on my laptop using fvwm-crystal as the desktop. Gnome 3 was a bit heavy and counter intuitive to me.
9 • Debian (by Maik on 2013-05-20 12:58:36 GMT from Belgium)
I don't understand that people still complain about Debian and outdated packages. Debian is all about stability and reliability, providing users a rocksolid systeem. Even older packages work and do their job so why always get the latest and greatest? Most of the newer versions don't even bring new features at all.
I'm using Debian 7 with Gnome 3 since 2 days now as my os for other duties next to my Ubuntu Studio and LMDE installation. So far i have no complaints at all. For a os that's just released it feels very stable and is really rocksolid.
Are you trying to install Debian 7 64bit on a machine that has a 32bit processor? If so, that's not going to work. Second, it could be that your network adapter has no open source driver that supports it so you might need closed source firmware.
Sounds more like a pebcak to me because i find it impossible that Debian won't install at all on any of the machines you have.
10 • Let down with Hybride (by Ghostwheel on 2013-05-20 13:12:34 GMT from United States)
I eagerly downloaded and ran the new Hybride live, having loved the previous version and was terribly disappointed. The last version was fast, gorgeous and functional.
This one is not.
11 • Linux Mint 14 (by 4ensicPenguin2 on 2013-05-20 13:40:50 GMT from United States)
Still loving me some Linux Mint 14 w/ Cinnamon. Works great, looking forward to 15
12 • Debian 7 (by JohnnyCanuck on 2013-05-20 14:22:09 GMT from Canada)
I installed Debian 7 last week and I did have a problem with my network card. However, the installer helpfully pointed out the name of the firmware (non-free) I needed and I downloaded and extracted it to a USB drive. When I tried the install again the installer prompted me to insert the USB drive with the firmware and then it proceeded with the install. One other curious thing happened. When I started up Iceweasel, addblockplus was already installed. Is this normal?
13 • Loving Hybride (by Lee on 2013-05-20 15:04:41 GMT from United States)
Running Hybride off live USB stick. Great Fun!
All environments work and switching is seamless.
Would love to know how it works
14 • xdotools (by Jay on 2013-05-20 15:07:50 GMT from Canada)
xdotools... where have you been all my life?
I've been wishing for something like this for a couple of years now! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesse Smith!
15 • @3: Iceweasel 10 (by cba on 2013-05-20 15:32:28 GMT from Germany)
Why should someone use Debian Stable for its well-known "stability" as a desktop OS in the first place, if the first thing which has to be done for security reasons is to substitute one of its most important packages - Iceweasel 10.0.12 - from the very beginning of the existence of Wheezy with third-party software?
Moreover, your procedure works only for i386 and x86_64, not for the other architectures with regard to Iceweasel 21.0.
16 • Debian Stable (by LuvsDebian on 2013-05-20 15:51:17 GMT from United States)
Admittedly, "purism" about non-free firmware makes Debian more difficult to install than many other distros.
But there are many reasons to like Debian Stable for desktop use. Foremost among these is that it doesn't get in the way of actual productive work by puking all over itself with little or no warning.
But perhaps the foremost reason to like Debian Stable is that it eschews the abomination that is systemd.
17 • Hybryde Linux 13.04 (by ismail arslangiray on 2013-05-20 17:04:06 GMT from United States)
Very nice package but it is french and it is very difficult to navigate around.
18 • Debian Ver XX (by Rob on 2013-05-20 17:29:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just want to say what a nice, balanced review. I've run many distros over the years (yes some derivative of course), but end up back at Debian.
Debian is plain (vanilla?) awesome, end of. I have been running my Sid/Experimental mix for the last 2.5 or more years now. Love it's customisability (Xfce in particular), Exclusive JACK demon for everything sound (inc. ALSA based vol applet), Refracta for custom HDD/SSD installation based ISO's. Just great, really, the best. Prize Debian out of my cold bare hands if you must.
19 • Debian 7 - 64Bit w/XFCE 4.10 Desktop (by Larry on 2013-05-20 17:51:08 GMT from United States)
I've been running Debian 6 (Squeeze) and I installed Debian 7 this week. I too had problems with my Wifi card. I didn't have a Ethernet connection readily available. The installer kept leading me through a loop of trying to enable WPA2. I finally selected WEP and the installer gave me an option to skip the networking setup. After this slight problem the install went fine, and my Wifi was quickly enabled, to finish the updated install.
I installed XFCE Version 4.10 from the Experimental Repo's, and I am well pleased with Debian 7. Enough that I'll put Linux Mint 14 XFCE on the back burner while I enjoy Wheezy.
The Developers did a GREAT JOB! THANKS!
20 • @17 Hybride (by Ghostwheel on 2013-05-20 18:08:34 GMT from United States)
Hit the f2 key when it first starts booting, a menu will come up with "Hybride en" at the top.
21 • Hybride (by Rev_Don on 2013-05-20 18:17:51 GMT from United States)
Anyone know how to stop the license agreement to stop popping up everytime you start Hybride on an actual installed version? I can understand it being there each time you boot up to a Live DVD/CD/USB environment, but not when it's actually installed on bare metal or in a vm.
22 • Hybride (Re: 21) (by Rev_Don on 2013-05-20 18:19:41 GMT from United States)
Sorry, that first line should have read: "Anyone know how to stop the license agreement from popping up everytime you start Hybride on an actual installed version?"
23 • Debian (by Slappy on 2013-05-20 18:49:56 GMT from United States)
I agree with your comments on Debian. Its always been one of the most stable Linuxes, and I understand that's its target, but I usually end up not using it because of the age of the packages. I've settled on LTS releases mostly, as a good compromise between stability and newer/fixed software.
I agree with your comment on the docs, and would like to add the website as well. Both seem somewhat confused, and not as user friendly as they should be. But its always been that way. Debian tends to move a bit too slowly.
24 • Interesting Fedora controversies (by eco2geek on 2013-05-20 19:42:01 GMT from United States)
Your mention of the LWN article about anaconda's "unmasked" passwords and the ensuing discussion brings to mind the following discussion on Red Hat's Bugzilla about their decision not to allow GRUB2 to install itself to the root of partitions, only to the MBR, from November, 2012:
It was amusing because one of the participants opined that leaving out the feature would make Fedora seem less friendly of an OS, and that it might be seen as missing functionality -- and was promptly accused of "slander" by a Red Hat employee. Really? Slander?
More importantly, it was altogether unclear whether actual Anaconda developers were involved in the Bugzilla discussion, or how the Red Hat employees involved in the Bugzilla discussion were related to the issue.
25 • @15 (by Milan on 2013-05-20 21:36:43 GMT from Serbia)
Those are working solutions for somebody to pick up few packages, Stable is not old and that is it - forget about it :). There are those adjustments with backports which is now part of the official repo and could make Debian Stable also perfect for Desktop usage. why not... Icewesel i Libreoffice are most used one, just picked it up from there if you want. Of course for average people which only wants not all newer packages, but just some of them right on their new and stable system.
And why just amd64 and i386 for newer Iceweasel from mozilla.debian.net? Why not, those are most popular arhitectures :).
26 • Stability vs. the bleeding edge (by kernelkurtz on 2013-05-20 21:42:10 GMT from United States)
Dual/multi booting is the best way to resolve this dilemma in my opinion.
I've got Deb 7 XFCE on one drive. Stability.
Manjaro on the other. Gorgeous, always new, rolling release, updating (and usually breaking) every few weeks.
The best (and yes the worst) of both worlds. Go to the dance alone, and tango with whoever will have you!
27 • @26 (by Milan on 2013-05-20 22:16:48 GMT from Serbia)
Yeah, dual booting Debian Stable and Debian Sid (which is always stable than Arch) is also cool :).
28 • Stability vs. the bleeding edge (by netblue on 2013-05-21 00:49:31 GMT from United States)
I don't always need bleeding edge, most of the time I go for stability. Stability has also a nice side effect: the packages being a little bit older, the memory footprint of the programs is smaller and the programs will seem faster. I did some memory measurements on Debian 7, the numbers are excellent compared with any other major distro out there.
For example, a LXDE desktop in Debian 7 starts up in 95MB of memory, while Lubuntu 13.04 starts in 184MB.
The same with Gnome3: Debian 7 215MB, Ubuntu Gnome 13.04 304MB.
KDE: Debian 7 329MB, Kubuntu 13.04 435MB.
I have the articles here if anybody is interested:
29 • Saluki (by jymm on 2013-05-21 01:09:58 GMT from United States)
I noticed Linux Saluki was discontinued. That is to bad. I thought it the best Puppy Distro I had ever used. East to install, connect and use. Always the choice to save your session or not to save it. It has been my goto when traveling and using a WIFI hot spot. I doubt many have noticed, and am guessing there was just not the support. Still my kudos to the developer, it was just a great light distro. Hopefully someone will pick up the work. I know there are a lot of distos, yet I hate to see such a good one discontinued.
30 • @15 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-21 01:13:22 GMT from United States)
Debian releases security updates daily (including Iceweasel), backports are for all architectures, and stability _does_ matter on the desktop too.
31 • Debian + Nonfree (by paulcs on 2013-05-21 01:26:25 GMT from Canada)
Here are Live Debian Wheezy cds with nonfree included. No fuss, no muss.
32 • 28 • Stability vs. the bleeding edge (by netblue) (by Chanath on 2013-05-21 01:27:10 GMT from Sri Lanka)
If you need stability and .deb files, then better stay with Ubuntu 12.04 until 2017.
With today's massive memory chips, the memory footprint is not a big deal. If you have 4 GB memory, why keep so much of it unused? In the early 286 days, the whole hard disk was just 20 MB.
33 • Debian + Nonfree (by paulcs on 2013-05-21 01:29:20 GMT from Canada)
Also for i386.
34 • some responses (by Pierre on 2013-05-21 01:41:25 GMT from Germany)
Can't unterstand the complaints either. Debian in fact is about stability, reliability and security. But I can understand that most people want more up-to-date versions. And I think, too, that it would be possible to deliver more up-to-date software and still preserve a stable system. And I can understand that Jesse is not very happy with such an very old version of Firefox. 10esr got replaced by 17esr for quite some time already. So I find it reasonable to question if it weren't better to at least deliver 17esr instead of the outdated 10esr version.
Nevertheless, everyone who is using Debian knows what he/she got himself/herself into. And at least for the amd64 and x86 architectures there is a semi official repo for other Firefox versions.
Debian does not eschew systemd. Debian is very conservative (as is slackware) and both therefore have not included it completely yet like others. Nevertheless it's included - in version 44 if I'm not wrong here - on the install media and ready for experimental use if one likes to do so.
I know opinions differ on the systemd-question. I can accept if one has reasons to dislike but it would be nice to specify what's wrong about it instead of hurl abuse at it without reasoning.
35 • Nice review of Debian 7.0 (by Robert Schiele on 2013-05-21 02:37:39 GMT from United States)
I thought Jesse's review of Debian 7.0 was nicely written, and on the whole, accurate. As a convinced Debian user of several years standing, I would, however, reiterate that it really isn't a distro for everyone. No, that isn't an "elitist" statement. It's a simple statement of fact. Unlike many distros, during the installation of which essentially a set, stored image gets copied to the user's hard drive, a Debian installation amounts to building a Debian Gnu/Linux system on the fly, whether from files stored on CD/DVD or via a network connection. I suspect that that, in large part, is why Debian's installer isn't any flashier than it is, also why the user is asked for more input and to make more decisions than many distro installations require. People, particularly newbies, might be better advised to look elsewhere, at least at first, until they learn some Linux basics. It's the same with those to whom having the "latest, greatest" version of their chosen software packages is important. One can find plenty of distros which are simpler to install, and many which ship newer software versions, but if one has hardware capable of running it properly, one can't find a distro anywhere which is more rock solid stable than Debian is. That's no doubt the reason that NASA, other government agencies, and numerous businesses and corporations choose Debian, but that stability can be a boon for home desktop users too, if that's what's most important.
36 • response to few posts (by greg on 2013-05-21 07:06:42 GMT from Slovenia)
@ 32 Chanath - i am on Ubutnu 12.04. when i installed it everythign worked great out of the box. 1 month later an update messed up the sound. 3 months after install another update and i can't go into hibernation/suspend anymore. approximately 1 year later an update messed up logitech mouse (USB mouse was connected to PS/2 to save space on USB plugs). 2 weeks later an messed up time. so much for stability in 12.04.
why save on ram? becuase the less ram the system uses the more of it is left for the programmes. and not everyone has a new computer. new computers come windows 8 preinstalled anyway...
i have another old mashcine with 256 MB ram running #! XFCE. Conky says 65-70MB ram is used on idle. everything works quite well for that age and low ram.
@15 cba - my guess is (but review hasn't came to the bottom of this) that Iceweasel 12 is patched for security but no new features/improvements. it could be their version numbering doesn't match Firefox numbering.
37 • @36 (by Chanath on 2013-05-21 07:55:17 GMT from Sri Lanka)
My laptop is nearly 4 years old. It has 2.8 GB memory. It runs Ubuntu 12.04 since it was released and no breakups. It is being updated/upgraded all the time. I also have Saucy installed, and that too works very well. I have Sabayon 13.04 too. The laptop is a standard Lenovo with Intel graphics. Right now, its on Saucy and with few programs working, the memory usage is 754 MB, so I still have more than 2 GB in hand. Its a core 2 duo and both CPUs are working between 5-8%.
Well, if my laptop is not an old one, my P4 desktop is even older by 2 years, but still can run Saucy and Sabayon 13.04.
38 • quick thoughts (by Pierre on 2013-05-21 07:56:10 GMT from Germany)
Funny to see even more responses in this week's DWW after only one day than in the last week's DWW after the whole week. ^^
Anyway, just forgot to say in my last post that I am pleased to see that the FreeBSD project finally managed to get their binary package services restored. I was waiting for this to give FreeBSD a test spin on an old machine that currently is still running openSUSE 12.2 as a testing machine.
And not mentioned in my last week's comments: Nice to see CrunchBang alive and vital with the final stable release of version 11. Although it was - just like it's Debian 7 base - already very stable, it is good to see such an small but nice project to succeed. In my opinion it's even the best Debian (stable) based distro out there at the moment.
It's worth to think about it as a replacement of my current openSUSE 12.3 install on my laptop if it weren't for my beloved i3 window manager and the KDE apps and further configuration on it, that already makes it my unbeatable preferred OS which therefore does not need replacement. :)
Maybe on the old machine if I am not satisfied with my FreeBSD trial on it. ;)
Greetings from Germany
39 • Debian Installer (by Serge on 2013-05-21 08:35:00 GMT from United States)
For those who agree with Jesse about the Debian Installer having an unusually complex boot menu should stay away from the dual 32-bit/64-bit versions of the installer (labelled as "multi-arch" on the download page). Its just like the regular installer, except every option has both a 32-bit and 64-bit version, resulting in twice as many options in the menu! I personally like the Debian Installer, but I had to scratch my head when I saw the multi-arch installer's boot menu.
Debian lacks gloss and finesse, but there's a class of user that considers that a virtue. So many Linux users complain about Debian being too conservative or lacking in polish. It's nice to read a good, balanced review like this one that is able to explain just what Debian's appeal is.
40 • @39 (by Milan on 2013-05-21 09:12:23 GMT from Serbia)
Yeah multiarch installer is complex, but in the same time it is the best one. For all option it have, one must tried 15 other targeted images because those are "ease to use images" and that is *not* ease to use for me.
So i actualy prefer that multiarch image (+non-free firmwares), because i don't need to download all images to give me some targeted options. I just need that download that single one and very robust one, it have 4 kernels in it (amd64 and 3 32bit variants). For jessie multiarch image i woulld like to see even more complexity, kfreebsd variants and maybe even hurd kernel.
Yeah i would like to see one image which supports all archs, just one to rule them all :).
41 • RE 35 (by dbrion on 2013-05-21 09:27:22 GMT from France)
"Unlike many distros, during the installation of which essentially a set, stored image gets copied to the user's hard drive, a Debian installation amounts to building a Debian Gnu/Linux system on the fly, whether from files stored on CD/DVD or via a network connection."
Well, Mandriva /Mageia "selection of pakages" did it years ago (since the very beginning).
I bet Fedora does it, too (never choose -nor had to remember, thus- this mode, as it faster -at least on USB sticks, with slow writing-copying an image and adding a limited number of packages than havin a package manager working for every package).
Oh, BTW, does Debian support installing on USB sticks/external disks? (Fedora , perhaps Mint and Mageia do)
42 • Debian (by kc1di on 2013-05-21 09:50:35 GMT from United States)
Another nice Review Jesse, All I can say is Debian is a great Distro and stable as can be expected. It's good on older less cutting edge equipment and runs on two boxes here that hardly ever need attention once the install is finished and systems set to preferences.
Use what ever browser you want. I use Chromium most of the time just because I'm used to it now. But I don't see any real advantage in the latest and greatest, debian is constantly doing security updates and it just works for me after the install is complete. Not everyone is looking for stable though and that's fine there are plenty of distros out there to choose from , Mint is my second choice.
Oh by the way Ubuntu 13.04 and Mint 15 will not work with my Dell Laptop out of the box get kernel panics everytime. in fact no distro with the 3.8 kernel has worked on that machine. don't know what the problem is but debian works flawlessly on it Cheers to Jesse for the review and debian Dev's for thier hard work :)
43 • @21+22 (by nybronx on 2013-05-21 10:23:54 GMT from United States)
You have to scroll all the way down to the end of the license and click the last item. I'm trying it Hybride out on a test unit and do enjoy jumping around desktops..Even works well on the P4 with Old Nvidia Card....not great Like Mint....but well enough to keep around for a few weeks.
44 • Debian (by Gustavo on 2013-05-21 11:59:10 GMT from Brazil)
Bugs and security flaws are fixed upstream on newer versions of software. Running Debian stable means *more* bugs, *more* incompatibilites, *less* features and *less" security. See KDE 4.8 vs 4.10, also don't think that Icewasel is more secure than newer versions of Firefox, even considering backported bugfixes.
45 • @ #44 (by Pierre on 2013-05-21 13:23:35 GMT from Germany)
You are making generalizations here without giving prove to any of them.
And if it were like you say you could bet that Debian would not be used commercially. But believe me, there are many security oriented persons and organisations (some I even know), who/which are using Debian with clean conscience and out of wise consideration.
100% security is impossible anyway. If you want more security than regular distros offer you should consider some of the specialized distros or you should think about building your own from scratch. Or use one of the BSDs and build your own desktop on top of them.
Additionally older versions do not mean more bugs in general or more incompatibilities. In contrary using older versions means using more mature software and therefore delivering a more stable system.
Sure there are downsides in regards of features. But most often you nearly don't recognize the differences between versions.
With KDE you took one single example that is true because espacially 4.10 received a lot of performance and bug fixes. But KDE in general evolves more than most other software. It's an example like Firefox that improves a lot from one to the next release.
But most parts of the systems still feel like Squeeze and not much different to other Linux distros, maybe only a little more stable than others - in my opinion. Although experiences always may differ.
Greetings from Germany
46 • @45 (by Gustavo on 2013-05-21 15:57:36 GMT from Brazil)
My impression is that developers usually just abandon older versions and they stay buggy forever.
47 • Bugfix or workaround? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-05-21 16:08:43 GMT from United States)
Newer isn't always better.
You may get a few fixes for old bugs, but you'll also get new openings for new bugs you haven't been warned about. And then there's lost functionality ...
48 • Dang.. so many distros don't (fully) work on my computer (by Jordan on 2013-05-21 20:23:53 GMT from United States)
Time for a new computer? It's just an HP Pavillion M7.
The stuff that won't work is most often icedtea and/or flashplayer. But also just installing new software. Just tried Neptune. Firefox is not there by default but Chromium is, which is ok except that it's Google bound and I'm not a Google freak anymore than I'm a Microsoft freak (why are Linux devs putting Google stuff in their distros?).
VectorLinux used to work well. Netrunner does.. what's weird is that it'll stall for a long time sometimes and then work fine for a while with no intervention other than going to another website.
Just tried Mageia, both Gnome (YUCK!) and KDE (lower case yuck).. it's the same ole same ole.. even the old Mandrake problems with fonts.
I want a Linux machine.. no downloading and burning and installing of the Linux operating system.
My command line skills are anemic to say the least and I can't get better because I don't have time.
49 • @48 (by Ista on 2013-05-21 20:38:42 GMT from United States)
Linux devs are putting Chromium in their distributions because it's open source and it works well. What's not to like?
50 • @49 (by Sam Graf on 2013-05-21 21:28:22 GMT from United States)
He already said--Chromium is (unnecessarily) oozing Google. Not everyone agrees that that's a problem but the point of view isn't at all obscure.
51 • @46 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-21 22:55:32 GMT from United States)
Subscribe to debian-security-announce and you'll see you're mistaken. Also, does it hurt that much to add the mozilla.debian.net repository by hand to have the latest version of Iceweasel (not for security, but for web compatibility)? In most other distros you'll probably have to mess with the repositories anyway. Newer versions also introduce new security flaws, besides new bugs, and that is what Debian stable addresses in the first place.
52 • @50 Chromium doesn't "ooze" anything. (by Ghostwheel on 2013-05-22 00:58:01 GMT from United States)
It is what Google Chrome is built from. There is nothing Google about it.
53 • @48 Jordan (by Chanath on 2013-05-22 03:42:44 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Mageia is quite nice, so don't talk nonsense. I am always with Ubuntu, but I know when a distro is good. Sabayon is very good too.
"I want a Linux machine.. no downloading and burning and installing of the Linux operating system. " You write. I don't think you are a Linux guy--the whole beauty of it is installing the distro, and then making it your own.
I am writing from an installed Mageia3 Gnome, which works without a hitch!
54 • Debian installed in old computer (by linuxuser on 2013-05-22 05:32:54 GMT from Greece)
I installed Debian 7 in an old PII 400Mhz machine and to my surprise it worked without a problem. Just a little slow as expected.
55 • @54 (by linuxuser on 2013-05-22 05:38:09 GMT from Greece)
I forgot to say that I used the installation cd with xfce.
56 • Summary about Debian (by Peter Besenbruch on 2013-05-22 07:35:16 GMT from United States)
A number of people have made suggestions about Debian, and how to keep it up to date. The best way to bring those suggestions together is to show my /etc/apt/sources.list:
# The main repository with contrib and non-free added
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
# Security fixes come from here
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
# Formerly Debian Volatile, for things that change quickly like AV updates
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates contrib non-free main
# Tweaked programs and bug fixes before they hit the main repository.
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-proposed-updates contrib non-free main
# Where to go for extra CODECs, Flash, Acrobat, and a more recent versions of Mplayer and VLC
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org wheezy main non-free
# Select software brought in from Testing (hint: LibreOffice, etc.)
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main contrib non-free
# Mainly for a more up-to-date Iceweasel. New versions arrive within 24 hours of release
deb http://mozilla.debian.net/ wheezy-backports iceweasel-release
# Cartes du Ciel (stable) A really good planetarium software package, for stars, planets, and to drive your computerized telescope.
deb http://www.ap-i.net/apt stable main
57 • pre-installed Linux (by Dave Postles on 2013-05-22 07:45:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
@48 Did you consider buying from one of the vendors which pre-install Linux, for example ZaReason (there are others - I mention ZaReason without prejudice or recommendation)? Personally, I agree with 53: I buy PCs without an OS and install my distro of choice - it works for me and adds value to the realm of small PC assemblers in my country (UK).
58 • @56 up to date Debian (by Chanath on 2013-05-22 07:52:41 GMT from Sri Lanka)
If you can add Ubuntu ppas to Debian, it would be even better. You can try http://blog.anantshri.info/howto-add-ppa-in-debian/
His script works in Wheezy too.
59 • Debian 7 (by Chanath on 2013-05-22 10:55:15 GMT from Sri Lanka)
In Debian 7 you can have Linux kernel 3.9, Libre Office 22.214.171.124 and Gnome 3.8. It is still quite fast.
60 • @ #58 (by Pierre on 2013-05-22 11:38:46 GMT from Germany)
Ubuntu is not (fully) compatible with Debian although they ship their packages in deb-Format.
So in my opinion it's no good idea to include Ubuntu PPAs no matter in which way.
There are many Debian repositories that offer you what PPAs have in store for you but these packages are build for Debian. Including these repositories in the sources.list or an additional file is quite easy. Plus this has the advantage that you can define quite fine rules for them via the preferences file.
You can set priorities to sources and even to exact packages out of these sources. This is much more preferable than the PPA method used by Ubuntu - in my opinion at least.
61 • @52 (by Sam Graf on 2013-05-22 12:23:16 GMT from United States)
"It is what Google Chrome is built from." Of course.
I'm sitting here looking at the defualt home page Chromium, Debian 7, Xfce. At the top right is the Google sign-in ("Not signed in to Chromium (You're missing out--sign in)." The only other item is a link to the Chrome Web Store. At the bottom right of the browser window is a fixed link to the store. Etc.
So yes, at least in the case of the Debian packages (which tend to be default configurations, as i understand it), Chromium is Google-branded unnecessarily.
62 • siduction gnome (by Chris on 2013-05-22 20:31:25 GMT from United States)
I downloaded and installed the new siduction gnome, 32 bit version, from the Stuttgart mirror. No problems. Installed smxi, and Google Chrome, did a dist upgrade. Oh, I also changed the debian mirror to http://ftp.pl.debian.org/debian.
The desktop is attractive. In the past, I've had to upgrade the xfce versions of aptosid and siduction to gnome. It's nice to see siduction offering the gnome 3 desktop.
63 • puppy 5.6 (by forlin on 2013-05-22 20:48:04 GMT from Portugal)
Still one more release without Network Manager, mean that all those on mobile broadband will need to wait some more months before trying this distro.
64 • @ #58 (by piper on 2013-05-22 21:02:28 GMT from United States)
Why would anyone want to ruin a debian install by using anything ubuntu with it.
Ubuntu is not binary compatible with debian including ".debs"
I agree with Pierre 100% on this
65 • @48 Jordan o'US (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2013-05-22 21:50:38 GMT from United States)
"My command line skills are anemic to say the least and I can't get better because I don't have time."
Sounds like you're a candidate for paid support (like OS4). After all, time is the most valuable commodity we mortals have.
66 • siduction /etc/adjtime (by Chris on 2013-05-22 23:12:29 GMT from United States)
I remembered the UTC/LOCAL issue in siduction a while ago.
My timezone is USA/Pacific but siduction will set /etc/adjtime to UTC and screw up the computer's clock. You must check the time in the computer's Setup and you must edit /etc/adjtime to show LOCAL not UTC if you live in the United States.
I've complained to siduction about this in the past, but their ways are set; they ain't gonna change their format.
67 • @64 PPAs in Debian Piper (by Chanath on 2013-05-23 01:47:29 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Debian 7 install is already sort of old, so trying out the Ubuntu ppas is not a dangerous thing. You have an idea what you want, for example Gnome 3.8 and you try it. If it doesn't work, you can reinstall the Debian. Have a look at the repository sources in synaptic, where updating is concerned. You'd see Ubuntu name there, whether to upgrade to the next Ubuntu.
68 • @64 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-23 03:48:41 GMT from United States)
I am using about 10 PPAs on my Debian machine right now. Been using PPAs on Debian for more than 3 years and never got into the binary incompatibility problem. What may happen more easily is some dependency not satisfied, but APT will refuse to install it anyway, so you just remove the line from sources.list.
Also, binary incompatibility is due to the GCC version, so both the problems mentioned can be generally solved by adding the PPA with the Ubuntu release from the same period of the Debian testing freeze, eg. Precise packages for Wheezy, and Raring for Jessie.
69 • re #63 -- 3G and Puppy Precise (by gnomic on 2013-05-23 06:48:44 GMT from New Zealand)
I believe that Puppy does include a rudimentary gui module for using 3G, albeit not NetworkManager (which by the by does not invariably manage to connect via 3G in my experience). However some assembly is likely to be required, as it doesn't have the auto broadband procedure used by NM, so the user must know the details of the access point used for mobile broadband access for example.
I find that distros using Wicd usually don't support mobile broadband. As far as I can tell wicd knows nothing about 3G access.
70 • @68 Ubuntu ppas in Debian (by Chanath on 2013-05-23 07:07:13 GMT from Sri Lanka)
That's the spirit!
What the use, if there is no risk. Like you said, Apt would refuse to install, if the dependencies won't work. Sometimes, you can use apt-get -f install. Hope one day the conservative Debian would talk with experimenting Ubuntu. Its shame, they don't match.
I installed some ppas in SolusOS2 RC and what a nice distro it was. Awaiting SolusOs2 to come finally to play again.
71 • @67 & 68 (by piper on 2013-05-23 17:31:23 GMT from United States)
I don't run debian 7, which to me is stable, not old, opinions vary
I run sid, siduction, aptosid, those 2 distro's are 100% binary compatible with debian sid, and are rolling releases.
Remember, any ubuntu (excluding mint based on debian) you use is not debian
binary compatible and is a frozen snapshot of debian sid every 6 months (why would anyone in todays day and age want to reinstall or upgrade production, server, desktop, etc every 6 months)
I just wouldn't ruin my installs with ubuntu apps (my opinion), if I wanted ubuntu apps, I would run ubuntu.
Choice is good, :) I just choose real debian, not a bastardized version of it.
72 • @71 (by Teresa e Junior on 2013-05-23 22:27:02 GMT from United States)
My system is not a mixture of distributions. It is Debian with a few apps that are more up-to-date on a PPA, like CherryTree and qpdfview, or apps that are not available compiled for Debian, like Plank and Gnome Modem Manager.
I think you miss the point of a PPA. When you add one, let us say, for CherryTree (which is not even a binary, but a python script), you don't pull python, python-gtk, and python-gtksourceview from Ubuntu, but only the package "cherrytree", which depends on those libs available on Debian.
I have 1226 packages installed now: about 15 I compiled myself, about 10 from PPAs that I had not the time to compile, and the other 1200 from Debian.
There's no such thing as "real" or "bastardized" Debian, just because I have a few packages compiled with some other version of gcc. It is like saying that a system is not a "real" Debian system just because the user went to snapshot.debian.org and grabbed a package he was missing on the current system, or if the user pinned some package from stable on sid. Both were compiled with an older version of gcc, and so are binary incompatible too.
73 • @71 Piper (by Chanath on 2013-05-24 01:53:49 GMT from Sri Lanka)
Well, if you take Zorin 7 for example, you'd find Raring repos and Precise ppas. It still says it is a groundbreaking distro.
Likewise, you just don't run Debian, but run your own "changed" distro--you add or delete apps, change the look etc. So, if I take Debian and make it look like Zorin 7, am I "bastardizing" Debian?
Making SolusOS2 for example, look like the Elementary Luna was not that hard. The SolusOS creator was not unhappy at all. This is Linux and its freedom.
74 • re #69 • re #63 -- 3G and Puppy Precise (by Forlin on 2013-05-25 01:10:50 GMT from Portugal)
After previous Puppy release, I browsed the forums searching for instructions about how to configure a 3G Mobile Broadband. Most threads found were quite old and none come with a working solution.
Then I found one thread which seemed to be the most recent one. The last reply just mentioned: Puppy do not support 3G M.B. I stopped there.
Regarding Networm Manager it has always worked for in all environments, excluding one: KDE. I don't mean its impossible to have it working there, but its a nightmare due to security restrictions, mainly.
75 • i love vanilla! (by this guy on 2013-05-25 04:00:15 GMT from United States)
jessie, i'm not always a fan of your reviews, but i think you've given debian a fair shake and summed up the project (at least as a desktop project, which is probably how dw treats most distros in review) in a way that anyone new to free software can understand.
debian is many things, and i admire the project for its constant contribution to... nearly 100% of the distros i love and use. when i use or setup a distro i'm not as familiar with, i often use debian branding to make it look nice. i do have a laptop with debian wheezy installed, and the window manager i'm currently using (icewm) has the logo in the theme.
i'm not as accustomed to using debian as other distros, because even as someone who loves a textmode computing, i like the "toppings" other distros have included in their livecd's. we're not just talking about eyecandy, but about the ultimate wonder of floss distros: customization. sometimes it's great to find a like-minded group that have included some of your more basic customizations "out of the box."
debian is a fantastic end in and to itself, but even more of us love it as a beginning of something greater still. what makes a derivative "greater" than vanilla debian is totally subjective, but i wouldn't think much of a sundae that didn't include the ice cream. debian is directly responsible for many of the best times i've had computing, despite the fact that in many years i've yet to scratch the surface of everything it does as a distro and a community project.
76 • Distro-look-alike is not work-alike !! @73 (by gregzeng on 2013-05-25 07:36:41 GMT from Australia)
@73: Zorin has AWN so deeply integrated that it cannot be removed, so look-alikes are not the same. I'd prefer Cairo or Docky, but all three add-ons are better than Ubuntu's Unity IMO.
Debian or 'buntu-based distros are so different from look-alikes that outsiders cannot re-create them - luckily. The Hybride distro tries to run all Desktop Environments as the choice of the user, as wished. But it cannot be compared well to any of the specialized distros that are stuck only on the one Desktop Environment. http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/hybryde-linux-1304-review-use-ubuntu.html
77 • @ 76 • Distro-look-alike is not work-alike !! (by Chanath on 2013-05-25 08:24:49 GMT from Sri Lanka)
AWN is not "deeply" integrated with Zorin. It can be removed, changed. Oh, Zorin had changed some words, lines in some "properties" of AWN dock and Gnomenu, but all that can be changed. Linux is all about files, so change the file. By the way, Zorin 7's 'special" stuff is still from Precise, which had come earlier from Natty. Nothing "groundbreaking" in this Zorin 7.
You can't add ppas to Zorin 7, I mean you can add the repos, but you won't get them to work. So, as an Ubuntu clone it is not that good. If you copy from Launchpad, you'd get them to work. Zorin 7 is still RC, so they can still change something, but nothing spectacular. There is something Zorin is not willing to change, because it cannot be changed. It'd stay in the Precise time.
If you want Cairo dock in Zorin 7RC or Zorin 7, when it comes, just sudo apt-get install Cairo-dock, and it'd pull in Gnome 3 too, so you are in for a treat. If it won't install, let me know.
78 • Debian 7 Features (by Centurian on 2013-05-25 17:51:34 GMT from United States)
The best reason to run Debian 7 is there is no systemd being pushed on the user. Hopefully the Debian community will never adopt such a brain damaged init system. Other than that, Debian 7 is the logical progression from the last version while maintaining simplicity and stability, the two most important factors.
79 • Debian 7 install iso (by forlin on 2013-05-25 18:22:47 GMT from Portugal)
If you are on a 3g Mobile, never try to install Debian 7 using the single first CD iso.
You will end up without Xserver. The installer cannot configure the 3G, so you will not be able to download the missing pieces during the install process. The alternative is the DVD iso, who is quite up 3 gibabytes.
80 • @48 (by Paul J. on 2013-05-26 02:28:52 GMT from United States)
Go with Linux Mint if you want something safe and easy to install. I doubt you'll have major issues. Furthermore, go with Mint 13 since it is a 5 year LTS release.
81 • @24 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-05-26 06:49:37 GMT from Canada)
This is rumour control, here are the facts.
The comment you refer to is https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=872826#c92 , written by Chris Murphy. He is not a Red Hat employee, and never has been.
On the password issue, Jens Petersen - who filed the bug - is an RH employee, but not on the anaconda team. Ditto Matthias Runge, Stef Walter, Paul Wouters and myself, who commented on the bug. We were 'related to the issue' simply by having seen it and having an opinion on it; RH staff are like anyone else in the Fedora community, they use the product and they have opinions on it, frequently not the same opinions as each other (though the media likes to portray RH as being a sort of Borg-like monolith where dissent is not tolerated). Chris Lumens is an anaconda developer and was responsible for the change; he was also the one who reverted it, in response to the discussion in the bug report and elsewhere. AFAIK no-one else who made a public comment on the bug is an RH employee.
82 • Fedora password masking story (by Adam Williamson on 2013-05-26 06:50:40 GMT from Canada)
Ladislav, it would have been nice if you had structured your excerpt to tell the whole story, instead of leaving the misleading impression that the change remained in place. For the information of DWW readers, it does not. After the point where Ladislav left off the story, the change was reverted.
83 • Junk inside operating systems - go away please (by gregzeng on 2013-05-26 09:03:05 GMT from Australia)
In Linux, we have 'pure' distros, from which the specialist distros are derived; Pure distros: Debian Redhat, & Arch, mainly. Specialist distros than select which parts to add to the purist distro. Commonly fantasied is that a specialist distro (Zorin, Ubuntu, Fedora, Puppy) can be easily made pure, then easily become specialized into a new distro.
Some distros (specialist or not) are bloated with junk. They may include so many desktops, editors, and other apps that end-users will never explore.
@73, @77: Chanath from Sri Lanka has a easy-added/ easy-removed theory to his operating systems, since modifying the many configuration files are claimed to be so easy (?). The Hybride distro did try this in the Desktop Environment parts, trying to be-all things approach. Chanath claims that Docky, Cairo, AWN, ... fit his favored add-on approach.
Perhaps the advocates of simplicity (Arch, etc) are motivated by mess created by ad-hoc system builders. Political conservatives easily add junk-fat to quieten the grumblers in every computer operating system. In most pre-packaged distros, I need to remove minority ethnic languages, braille, and remnants of the coders' work (PPA to sources). Microsoft still does this, thinking that large SSDs are cheap, on every computer, netbook or tablet.
It should concern end users that this coder's junk enforced onto us needs to stop. In my ignorance, I wonder if Google's & Apple's operating systems are bogged down in this junk as well.
84 • Useful options vs bloat (by Fairly Reticent on 2013-05-26 09:12:37 GMT from United States)
One person's junk is another's treasure. Customization utilities abound.
85 • @83 gregzeng (by Chanath on 2013-05-26 13:12:05 GMT from Sri Lanka)
I didn't say anything about Hybryde, did I? I said something about Zorin 7 RC. I have it and I have changed the AWN dock, added Cairo dock too. It is simple! It has Raring repos, and those repos have Cairo dock. When you install Cairo dock, Gnome-shell is also installed. If you want, you can install Docky too. Why don't you try it, and then write about it?
Zorin is simply Ubuntu Raring with some additions. Check the sources.list and you'd see for yourself.
You are getting a free distro, pal and it is NOT only for you. It is for the blind and also for the people, who work in other languages. If you don't like those languages, you delete them--it is your computer. Minority ethnic languages, eh? What is minority for you is majority for some others. This is a free world!
In Poland the majority language is Polish, and in Russia it is Russian. In Sri Lanka, only few speak those, and I am one of them, and I speak English too, but English is still a 2nd language heer. So, please don't go ethnic? Everyone is equal!
86 • @83 Minority ethnic languages...gregzeng (by Chanath on 2013-05-26 14:02:11 GMT from Sri Lanka)
When you install a Ubuntu based distro, watch the end of the installation process. You'd notice how the "minority ethnic languages" are removed, and only the language you decided on is kept back. Actually, don't write such words as "minority ethnic." The Linux distros are made by contributions of all kind of ethnic people.
87 • @83 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-05-27 00:25:03 GMT from Canada)
Right. "Minority" from whose perspective? And just because they're a 'minority' from your perspective, they should be screwed in order to save you some hard disk space? That seems a very selfish opinion.
88 • @ gregzeng (by Pierre on 2013-05-27 00:47:40 GMT from Germany)
I remember we had such a discussion once before already. Useless to say that I am still of the opinion that distro developers are including such option mostly for very good reason. But I will not start to explain every single detail once again. I would end up explaining it over and over again, I guess. Some seem to be not able to learn. Anyway, just read my response a few weeks or months ago.
89 • Linux is swamped with politicians? (by gregzeng on 2013-05-27 01:58:44 GMT from Australia)
Luckily I'm not a politician, otherwise I'd insist that every Linux distro is forcibly loaded with every language used in the United Nations, plus others such as Latin & Esperanto.
Distrowatch commentators @85, @86 @87, @88 - reply so quickly,for people who use Braille in English. :-) As successful politicians, they are insisting now that Braille learning be forced onto every person on the planet, since they are not selfish at all.
They are also employed IMO by hardware, software and service companies who benefit by junkware being loaded onto every computer on this planet. Luckily I'll be dead by the time of the green-house destruction of this planet has properly started. Yes - I'm selfish.
Number of Comments: 89
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 594 (2015-01-26): KaOS 2014.12, Commercial distros, Snappy Ubuntu, PackageKit fixes|
|• Issue 593 (2015-01-19): ReactOS 0.3.17, Unity on Mir, Bluetooth support, openSUSE election|
|• Issue 592 (2015-01-12): Mint 17.1, load averages, binary logs, GNOME Software|
|• Issue 591 (2015-01-05): Manjaro 0.8.11, systemd, Devuan, Torrent Corner|
|• Issue 590 (2014-12-22): Fedora 21, Ubuntu phone, expanding ZFS storage, Able2Extract|
|• Issue 589 (2014-12-15): Parsix 7.0, Ubuntu "Snappy", PC-BSD upgrades, How Linux Works|
|• Issue 588 (2014-12-08): PC-BSD 10.2, rolling-release Ubuntu GNOME, Bitrig, systemd|
|• Issue 587 (2014-12-01): Trisquel 7.0, Kubuntu 14.10 "Plasma5", FreeBSD on 64-bit ARM, Jolla and UbuTab|
|• Issue 586 (2014-11-24): Scientific Linux 7.0, Debian and systemd, Ubuntu MATE, application-level firewalls|
|• Issue 585 (2014-11-17): openSUSE 13.2, PC-BSD's "roles", MATE + Compiz on Mint, cleaning package cache|
|• Issue 584 (2014-11-10): OpenMandriva 2014.1, Debian freeze, trickle, systemd and boot times|
|• Issue 583 (2014-11-03): Ubuntu 14.10, ownCloud, Kylin interview, The Book of PF, Elive's commercial ways|
|• Issue 582 (2014-10-27): GhostBSD 4.0, Tumbleweed and Factory merge, systemd and fork of Debian|
|• Issue 581 (2014-10-20): SparkyLinux 3.5, Fedora's graphics stack, Debian and systemd, OpenBSD 5.6|
|• Issue 580 (2014-10-13): Rolling releases, Arch as best distro, GNOME on Wayland, MINIX 3.3.0|
|• Issue 579 (2014-10-06): PC-BSD 10.0.3, Debian's Jessie freeze, setting up home server|
|• Issue 578 (2014-09-29): Calculate 14, Debian's default desktop, Shellshock vulnerability, practical Tiny Core|
|• Issue 577 (2014-09-22): SymphonyOS 14.1, FreeBSD drops pkg_add, MINIX on ARM, GNU screen|
|• Issue 576 (2014-09-15): PCLinuxOS 2014.08, Mint's documentation, Debian's hardware database, CDE|
|• Issue 575 (2014-09-08): Porteus 3.0.1, Fedora's blivet-gui, Red Hat's Docker, systemd|
|• Issue 574 (2014-09-01): Ubuntu Kylin 14.04, Haiku and Linux kernel, Wayland support, Lumina, Bash completion|
|• Issue 573 (2014-08-25): SolydXK 201407, VPN gateway with FreeBSD, Ubuntu MATE, Raspbian, trusting binary packages|
|• Issue 572 (2014-08-18): ZFSguru 10.1, Fedora's Flock, beta installer for "Jessie", Ubuntu Core, rolling releases|
|• Issue 571 (2014-08-11): HandyLinux 1.6, LMDE update, default desktop in "Jessie", running out of disk space|
|• Issue 570 (2014-08-04): Neptune 4, Kubuntu's KDE Plasma 5, FreeBSD and UEFI, Linux servers|
|• Issue 569 (2014-07-28): Deepin 2014, Ask Fedora, Gentoo and LibreSSL, encrypted package downloads|
|• Issue 568 (2014-07-21): Antergos 2014.06.24, Mint based on Debian stable, upgrading CentOS, BinaryTides|
|• Issue 567 (2014-07-14): Manjaro 0.8.10, PC-BSD jails, Debian and glibc, Fedora's DNF, Xiki and Opera 24|
|• Issue 566 (2014-07-07): LXLE 14.04, OpenBSD's SimpleDE, openSUSE artwork, home security basics|
|• Issue 565 (2014-06-30): Chakra 2014.05, Fedora on BeagleBone, Matthew Miller interview, e-book readers|
|• Issue 564 (2014-06-23): Antergos 2014.05.26 and Q4OS 0.5.11, Debian LTS and glibc, Fedora DNF|
|• Issue 563 (2014-06-16): Mint 17, CentOS 7 pre-release, Debian MATE, accessing encrypted content|
|• Issue 562 (2014-06-09): GoboLinux 015, Gentoo interview, Fedora leader change, climagic tricks|
|• Issue 561 (2014-06-02): OpenMandriva 2014.0, Debian GNU/Hurd, Lubuntu and LXQt, Final Term, TrueCrypt|
|• Issue 560 (2014-05-26): KaOS 2014.04, Wayland and KDE 5 on Fedora, distros with commercial support, DenyHosts|
|• Issue 559 (2014-05-19): VortexBox 2.3, LTS-only Linux Mint, FreeBSD 11 ambitions, KDE 5 beta|
|• Issue 558 (2014-05-12): RHEL 7 Workstation impressions, LXQt and Lumina, Haiku interview|
|• Issue 557 (2014-05-05): Xubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 14.10 roadmap, Fedora Workstation, ownCloud|
|• Issue 556 (2014-04-28): Ubuntu 14.04, LibreSSL, Lumina desktop, Deepin interview|
|• Issue 555 (2014-04-21): Robolinux 7.4.2, Ubuntu release day stats, Debian security, Porteus update|
|• Issue 554 (2014-04-14): Review of FreeNAS, OpenSSL bug, Fedora.next, Robolinux Stealth VM, measuring memory|
|• Issue 553 (2014-04-07): Puppy 5.7 "Slacko", end of Ubuntu One, file encryption with GPG|
|• Issue 552 (2014-03-31): Tanglu 1.0, Ubuntu GNOME LTS, SliTaz for ARM|
|• Issue 551 (2014-03-24): Linux Mint "Debian" 201403, call for end to proprietary firmware, LVM|
|• Issue 550 (2014-03-17): Review of NixOS 13.10, Lubuntu seeking feedback, Android-x86 4.4-rc1 impressions|
|• Issue 549 (2014-03-10): ClearOS 6.5 and UCS 3.2, Gentoo interview, Ubuntu app contest, Into the Core|
|• Issue 548 (2014-03-03): Review of Mageia 4, FreeBSD console driver, filtering web content, Pitivi fundraiser|
|• Issue 547 (2014-02-24): Chakra 2014.02, Ubuntu privacy, preventing unwanted remote logins|
|• Issue 546 (2014-02-17): Review of PC-BSD 10.0, Red Flag closure, Ubuntu and systemd, SlackE18, Fedora book review|
|• Issue 545 (2014-02-10): Impressions of FreeBSD 10.0, Debian votes systemd, Ubuntu file manager, server security|
|• Issue 544 (2014-02-03): Netrunner 13.12, openSUSE future, Ubuntu Touch in emulator, running commands in multiple places|
|• Issue 543 (2014-01-27): Review of Korora 20, FreeBSD 10.0, DNF, ZFS rescue CD, Bridge Linux interview|
|• Issue 542 (2014-01-20): QupZilla, Ubuntu with MATE, Arch on Raspberry Pi, best applications|
|• Issue 541 (2014-01-13): openSUSE 13.1 and Zentyal 3.3, CentOS joins Red Hat, Bodhi on Chromebooks|
|• Issue 540 (2014-01-06): SMS 2.0.6 and SME Server 8.0, Hawaii desktop, PHR statistics 2013, more on multi-part archives|
|• Full list of all issues|